Education, Press Release Allentown, PA – Recognizing Pennsylvania’s flawed and outdated charter school law is one of the worst in the nation, Governor Tom Wolf is taking executive action, overhauling regulations, and will propose legislation to comprehensively reform the law. The governor outlined his vision that will strengthen charter school quality, accountability and transparency to control costs and improve outcomes for students.“Pennsylvania’s charter school law is unfair for students, parents, school districts, and taxpayers,” said Governor Wolf. “While many charter schools are succeeding, others, especially some cyber charter schools, are underperforming and we are not doing enough to hold them accountable to the taxpaying public and the children they serve.“Today I’m announcing comprehensive charter school reform through executive action, regulation, and legislation. These changes will level the playing field for all taxpayer-funded public schools, strengthen the accountability and transparency of charter and cyber charter schools, and better serve all students.”Brick-and-mortar charter and cyber charter schools, and for-profit companies that manage many of them, are not held to the same ethical and transparency standards of traditional public schools. Despite the rising costs of charter schools to school districts and property taxpayers, school districts and state government have limited authority to hold charter schools accountable.The poor academic performance of some charter schools is also a concern. A recent report from Stanford University found overwhelmingly negative results from Pennsylvania’s cyber schools and called for the commonwealth to take urgent action.Governor Wolf’s proposal promotes innovation and choice, while ensuring that charter schools are providing a high-quality education and meeting the same standards Pennsylvanians expect from traditional public schools.Executive ActionsGovernor Wolf is tasking the Department of Education (PDE) with developing regulations to achieve the following:Access to High-Quality Education for All StudentsAllow school districts to limit student enrollment at charters that do not provide a high-quality, equitable education to students.Require transparent charter school admission and enrollment policies that do not discriminate based on intellectual or athletic ability, race/ethnicity, gender, or disability, among other student characteristics.Transparency and Accountability for All School LeadershipHold charter schools and their operators to the same transparency standards as school districts because they are public schools and receive more than $1.8 billion in state and property tax dollars annually.Require that charter school Board of Trustees and operating companies– like school district School Boards – are free from conflicts of interest and prohibit them from making decisions that provide a financial benefit to themselves, friends, and/or family members.Require charter schools to use sound fiscal management, provide regular financial audits to state regulators, publicly bid contracts for supplies and services, use fair contracting practices, and engage their communities.Provide greater oversight over charter school management companies, the businesses that often profit at the expense of Pennsylvania students and families.Establish a model state application to start a new charter school or renew an existing charter school that provides school districts with comprehensive information on how the school will be run and allow for rigorous analysis.Fair and Predictable Funding for All Public SchoolsEstablish a clear process that requires charters to accurately document their costs.Prevent charters from over charging districts and taxpayers for the educational services they provide.Accountability on Behalf of TaxpayersInitiate a fee-for-service model to cover the department’s costs associated with implementing the charter school law.Recoup taxpayer costs for thousands of hours of currently free services that the Department provides to charter schools when it reviews applications, processes millions of payments, and provides legal and administrative support.Comprehensive Charter School Reform LegislationIn addition to executive action, the governor will propose comprehensive charter school reform legislation containing the regulatory changes and would:Establish performance standards that hold charter schools accountable for the educational outcomes of students and a moratorium on new cyber charter schoolsCap student enrollment in low performing cyber charter schools until outcomes improve.Require charter management companies be subject to the Right to Know Act, State Ethics Act, and post employee salaries on PDE’s website, similar to requirements already in place for public school districts.Create fair, predictable, and equitable funding for school districts, including in the areas of special education funding and cyber charter tuition payments.Establish a charter school funding commission to make recommendations on additional charter school funding reforms.“We have some high-quality charter schools in our commonwealth and my proposal holds charters accountable to the same standards we set for traditional public schools. Through hard work and bipartisan compromise in Harrisburg, we have achieved pension reform and liquor reform. It’s time to reform the charter school law. That’s good for every child, family, and taxpayer in Pennsylvania.”The governor announced charter school reform at press conferences today in Allentown and in Pocono Summit, Monroe County. The Allentown School District’s structural budget deficit cannot be fixed without charter school reform.“Before opening the doors, a potential charter school must demonstrate community support, academic innovation and financial stability. Once the charter school is up and running, though, meaningful oversight seems to go away,” said state Rep. Peter Schweyer. “There isn’t enough accountability on how tax dollars are spent, how the kids are being taught or if they’re even learning at all. Governor Wolf’s executive actions are a big step forward to bring about meaningful oversight to protect kids in charter schools.”“One out of every six dollars spent by the Allentown School District goes to educating kids at charter schools – an increase of over 2000 percent in twenty years,” said state Rep. Mike Schlossberg. “This inequity is wildly unfair to our students, taxpayers and teachers. These moves will help control costs and increase educational opportunities for all Allentown students. I fully support these moves and appreciate the governor for having the courage to stand up for our students and taxpayers.” SHARE Email Facebook Twitter August 13, 2019 Gov. Wolf Acts to Ensure Charter Schools Better Serve Students and Taxpayers
With the start of the offseason comes the 2019 NHL Draft, where big names like Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko will finally start their highly-anticipated NHL careers.The draft will kick off with the New Jersey Devils making the first overall pick, followed by the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, the two other teams that won the lottery. Either the Boston Bruins or the St. Louis Blues will get the final pick dependent on which team will take home the Stanley Cup. Alex Turcotte, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)Jonathan Toews may have had a career year statistically, but he turns 31 later this month. Turcotte, who grew up just north of Chicago, is fast and an assassin with the puck, but also plays a tough, 200-foot game. He’ll play for the University of Wisconsin next fall.Trevor Zegras, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)If you swap jersey numbers between Hughes and this dynamic playmaker, you might have a tough time determining who is who. Zegras, a Boston University recruit, has world-class vision, silky-smooth moves and can enter the offensive zone cleaner than anyone outside of his aforementioned NTDP teammates.Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver (WHL)Kings GM Rob Blake was a physical puck mover himself during his Hall of Fame career, so you have to think he’s impressed with this rugged point-producing machine who would be the perfect option to groom as Drew Doughty’s eventual replacement. Here’s what you need to know to watch this year’s draft, including when it is, how you can watch and when each team will make its selection.MORE 2019 NHL DRAFT:SN’s final mock draft | Top 62 big boardWhen and where is the NHL Draft in 2019?Date: June 21-22Location: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, B.C.Start time: 8 p.m. ET (Day 1) | 1 p.m. ET (Day 2)TV channels: NBCSN, NHL Network, SportsnetLive stream: NBC Sports App | fuboTV (7-day free trial)This year’s draft, the 57th in NHL history, will take place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, the Canucks’ home venue. The first round will be on Friday, June 21, and rounds 2-7 take place on Saturday, June 22. What time does the NHL Draft start?Round 1 of the NHL Draft starts at 8 p.m. ET on June 21, and the second day (Rounds 2-7) will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on June 22.MORE: Watch the NHL Draft live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)NHL Draft TV channel, how to live streamThis year’s draft will be broadcast on NBCSN and NHL Network, with NBCSN broadcasting the first day of the draft and NHL Network broadcasting the second.In Canada, Sportsnet will broadcast both days of the NHL draft. You can also stream the draft on the NBC Sports App and nbcsports.com, as well as on fuboTV (you can get a seven-day trial and subscribe here).RoundsDateTimeTV Channel1Friday, June 218 p.m. ETNBCSN/Sportsnet2-7Saturday, June 221 p.m. ETNHL Network/Sportsnet2019 NHL Draft order of picksThe first round draft order is determined by the draft lottery and the outcome of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Picks 1-15 are determined by the lottery system, and picks 16-27 are decided by the playoff teams that were eliminated in the first two rounds and their point totals. The 28th and 29th picks go to the conference final runner-ups, and the final two picks go to the Stanley Cup runner-up and Stanley Cup champion respectively.The order for rounds 2-7 is determined by all 31 teams’ point totals in the regular season.First round1. New Jersey Devils2. New York Rangers3. Chicago Blackhawks4. Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa Senators)5. Los Angeles Kings6. Detroit Red Wings7. Buffalo Sabres8. Edmonton Oilers9. Anaheim Ducks10. Vancouver Canucks11. Philadelphia Flyers12. Minnesota Wild13. Florida Panthers14. Arizona Coyotes15. Montreal Canadiens16. Colorado Avalanche17. Vegas Golden Knights18. Dallas Stars19. Ottawa Senators (from Columbus Blue Jackets)20. Winnipeg Jets21. Pittsburgh Penguins22. Los Angeles Kings (from Toronto Maple Leafs)23. New York Islanders24. Nashville Predators25. Washington Capitals26. Calgary Flames27. Tampa Bay Lightning28. Carolina Hurricanes29. San Jose SharksYou can find the complete order of picks for Rounds 2-7 here.2019 NHL mock draftSN’s latest mock draft, curated by our NHL prospects contributor Steve Kournianos, takes a look at the top prospects and still has Hughes going first overall. Additionally, a number of U.S. National Team players are expected to go early on.Here are the five players expected to go first:Devils: Jack Hughes, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)Rangers: Kaapo Kakko, RW, TPS Turku (SM-Liiga)Blackhawks: Alex Turcotte, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)Avalanche (from Ottawa): Trevor Zegras, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)Los Angeles Kings: Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver (WHL)Check out the rest of Kournianos’ mock draft here.NHL Draft 2019 top prospects to knowBelow are the top 2019 draft prospects via SN contributor Steve Kournianos’ latest big board. You can read the rest of his top 31 player rankings here.Jack Hughes, C, U.S. U18 (NTDP)With all due respect to the likes of Kirk Muller and even Nico Hischier, the Devils have never had a center whose skill alone was enough to fill the seats. Hughes is an exceptional playmaker with ridiculous speed who has the potential to become the franchise’s first marketable superstarKaapo Kakko, RW, TPS Turku (SM-Liiga)Kakko is exactly what the Rangers want and need – a powerful goal scorer with quickness and strength who can wear down any defender. He’ll be the highest draft pick in Blueshirts history, joining Hall of Fame defenseman Brad Park, who went second overall in 1966.